In one of my earlier posts, I had Modi telephone Trump and advice on what the latter should do on his “Inauguration” as POTUS. I wanted to balance the traffic. Now, it is Barack Obama’s turn to suggest the obvious to Modi. No, what follows is not the phone call from Obama to Modi, but only the gist of the conversation.
The timing is perfect.
Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to his sidekick of the past eight years, Joe Biden. Joe Biden got this medal for doing what? Getting up before Obama did every morning for the past eight years and asking, “Is the President OK?”
Modi can do something similar. No, I am not suggesting that Modi will be out of power soon and therefore should do it now. It is more because the potential awardee is very long in the tooth and ...
All of us know that the biggest regret of Advani’s life is that he never became the prime minister; that regret, anyway, Modi is in no way to assuage. Advani’s greatest rival is Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Advani feels that he has done much, indeed much more than what Vajpayee did, in bringing in the ‘J' in BJP – ‘Janata’ through his yatra. Yet, he got the short end of the stick and did not get to move into 7, Race Course Road.
To digress, this is one thing that really roils me; isn’t it time to change the name of the official residence of the Prime Minister of India to “Saffron House”? The colonial hangover – copying 10, Downing Street – sits very ill with me. We are now tilting so seriously towards the US, the name of the official residence of the PM must reflect this. A black man occupied the White House, so the name does not preclude a prime minister from any other party, say Sasikala from AIADMK whose official color appears to be green.
To get back to the main narrative, Modi should headline the Republic Day Honours, in bold letters, with the name of Lal Krishna Advani, conferring on him the title Bharat Ratna.
As you can easily discern, Biden played second fiddle to Obama and got the highest civilian award in the US. Advani played second fiddle to Vajpayee. So, Bharat Ratna, the highest award India is appropriate for Advani. Biden got the medal years after Obama got his Nobel Peace Prize (we know how hard Obama worked for it). Advani, likewise, will get Bharat Ratna many years after Vajpayee got it. About who worked harder, just recall the Rat(h) Yatra. Advani could play the tune, a la the Pied Piper, but Vajpayee could not or did not want to.
So, I overheard Obama giving this advice to Modi. The latter would do very well to listen to this.